No T.O. Noise Deafening

did. Very little, even with my small hands. 

So for nearly one week, it's been Camp Tranquility. 

"We're on a mission as a team and he's on a mission," said Sherman, a man who has coached the likes of Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Cris Carter and even Terry Glenn in Green Bay after the Cowboys wide receiver was banished from New England and somewhat labeled a problem child. 

"You see him today, you see T.O. is in tremendous shape," said Sherman, thus diffusing all those who were wanting to create a hissy in the off-season about Owens working out in Miami instead of at The Ranch or about not being there daily to catch passes from Tony Romo. 

Oh, sorry, Phillips did talk about Owens playing the different receiver spots instead of just one, and talked about him potentially moving into the slot in some nickel sets, which caused that former defensive guru Larry Lacewell, when asked what that does to a defense when seeing Owens in the slot, to say, "Put fear in 'em." 

Now if you ask Garrett how he has managed the potentially volatile Owens, he will give you the same answer he's been giving since he's been hired, that stuff about how you treat all the players with respect and you try to get to know all your players and how you try to put all your players in the right spots and how you try to use all your weapons and how you try to figure out what motivates all your players. 

Fine. Knowing Garrett, who watched Troy Aikman deal with an emotional Michael Irvin, probably told Owens the past doesn't matter; probably asked him what routes he likes most; probably included him in the discussion when designing the offense. Because, as a former quarterback, he knows you have to trust - there's that word again - your wide receiver to give you the accurate information, especially in a game. 

But you know what, this stuff goes both ways. Sounds as if Owens, unlike with Parcells and Haley, likely has wiped Garrett's slate clean, too. He does not seem to have any preconceived notions about what Red Ball was or wasn't. 

And maybe most of all, two of the bigger influences on his football career, Irvin and Sanders, are Jason Garrett fans after having played with him in Dallas, and I'll guarantee you those guys both assured Owens he would be in good hands - that you can, and here comes that word again, trust Garrett. 

Now Garrett doesn't have any idea about all that. He just sees what he sees. 

"Did you watch him run out in practice?" Garrett said, his eyes opening wide. "Unbelievable. He runs his (butt) off." 

Cornerback Anthony Henry will vouch for that, too, having to go up against Owens time and again during training camp, and the guy beaten by Owens on a sideline route the other day for what would have been a long touchdown grab to end practice to the disgust of the defense. 

"He's so competitive," said Henry, further explaining how that turns up his competitive juices for mere training camp practices. "He never takes a play off." 

Now just because everything is so hunky-dory doesn't mean you can put your T.O. filters away. Wouldn't do that, because knowing him, and the media, you're only one don't-you-wish-you'd-get-the-ball-thrown-your-way-more-often question away from having to strain out all the extraneous bull to find the truth. 

How long can this last? Would asking for one peaceful season be too much? 

Something tells me with this guy you got to take it one week at a time, no matter what. So one down, at least 21 more to go. 

Who knows, maybe we should take all these crickets back to Dallas with us. One of them just might be his Jiminy Cricket.

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